525. Telegram From the Embassy in Lebanon to the Department of State1

3998. Ref: Beirut 3933.2 For Secretary from Anderson.

Following message for Secretary [from] Anderson now in Iraq delivered to me morning November 14 by his business associate John McCrane. I quote verbatim text from Anderson’s handwritten notes. This message covers conversation Anderson had November 12 with UAR Amb Metwally.
“Message of President Nasser to RBA through Ambassador Metwally.
  • Para (A)—The Americans did not mention clearly and frankly the question of withdrawal and the Arabs cannot accept a draft of withdrawal that is not detailed (Note: I think he meant explicit rather than detailed) and expressed with frankness. This would be against the principles and Charter of the UN which says that no profit or territorial gains are allowed to be secured by force.
  • Para (B)—The first part of the draft contains many subjects such as peace with justice and this means that all the subjects are connected and the timing for the execution of any subject is not known. The logical consequence to assume is that the withdrawal will not be completed unless all other requirements are executed such as peace with justice.
  • Para (C)—The statement in the draft concerning mutual recognition can be considered a new text not found in any previous draft. This is considered a new request by the US. This is different from US confirmation that mutual recognition would not be mentioned.
  • Para (D)—What is said about borders, for example ‘the secured and recognized borders’ is a new text. To execute this subject there would have to be mutual agreement on both sides and this would require a recognition prohibited by the Khartoum Conference.
  • Para (E)—The draft concerning refugees is very mild and contains nothing obligatory (Note: I am sure he means obligations by Israel) and takes no note of the UN resolutions on this subject.
  • Para (F)—The reference to demilitarized areas in the draft is considered an echo of the Israeli spokesmen who have spoken of ‘greater Israel’ and the disarmament of the Sinai. The latest statement on this subject is that made by the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Knesset on November 10 when he stated that Israel wanted to disarm Sinai. This would make the UAR very anxious and is one reason not to approve the US draft.
  • Para (G)—The draft in setting out the mission of the representative of the Secretary General of the UN gives the idea that direct contact is necessary between the Arabs and the Israelis and this has not been in any draft resolution before.
  • Para (H)—Generally, the US resolution is many steps backward when compared with other drafts offered in the UN or through contacts outside the SC or the GA up to now. It is a step backward from the draft the US and Soviets agreed to and which the UAR, after study, refused.
  • Para (I)—The offering of this draft cannot be final as it is. The chance is still open in front of the US to prove its desire to reach a just political solution to the Israel-Arab dispute.
  • Para (J)—Riad has said he is very keen to cooperate with the US representative in New York and has confirmed to Amb Goldberg that even if the SC could not reach any result this will not mean that the contacts between the US and the UAR will be stopped.
  • Para (K)—He (Nasser) is anxious to see me again and continue our talks.
  • Para (L)—End of message from President Nasser.”3
Anderson’s present plans, unless things go wrong in Iraq, are return Beirut tomorrow November 15, overnight Beirut, depart for US via London morning November 16, arriving NY either November 17 or 18.
McCrane reports Anderson feels he is going back on what Nasser will assume is personal commitment, if he does not visit Cairo. Anderson worried about implications and has no appropriate rationale for explaining to Egyptians why he not going. He had originally tried avoid return visit as his previous messages indicated, but now he understandably feels Nasser expects him.
He starting to spread thin excuse in Iraq that McCrane brought him news family illness in US where he may have to return quickly.
Anderson’s concern will not be lessened by Cairo-NY Times November 12 article, carried Herald Tribune, November 13, which seems to be official UARG leak that Anderson planning revisit Nasser soon.
I do not know what if anything Anderson will tell Amb Metwally in Baghdad. Anderson informs me he already has had talk with Metwally in which he (Anderson) bore down hard on damage done by Heikal article and asked Metwally pass on to Nasser his strong feeling that it hurt Arab cause and cause of peace. Metwally reporting this to Nasser. Anderson describes Metwally as fairly strong individual who seems have good connections.
According McCrane, Anderson still prepared go to Cairo if Dept wishes, and if he can help. He could leave Beirut for Cairo morning November 16. Our recent experience makes it clear it impossible get messages to Anderson in Baghdad except through courier. Anderson tried send his son Beirut with message night November 12 but flights weathered in. He apologizes to Secretary for delay.
McCrane prepared return Baghdad tonight if we wish pass message. Otherwise I will see Anderson in Beirut about 1030 local November 15. Please advise.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Received at 7:33 a.m.
  2. Telegram 3933 from Beirut, November 13, reported that Ambassador Porter had sent word to Anderson that he should not go to Cairo. (Ibid.)
  3. Bergus reported in telegram 961 from Cairo, November 15, that Acting Foreign Minister Feki had asked him to call at 5 p.m. that day to hand him a copy of Nasser’s message to Anderson as translated by the UAR Foreign Office. Feki said the message had been sent before Bergus had given the substance of Anderson’s contingency instructions to the UAR Government. Bergus gave Feki the substance of comments by Goldberg on Nasser’s message. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN) Goldberg’s comments are in telegram 2239 from USUN, November 14. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB–ISR) The copy of the message given to Bergus, which he sent with a November 24 letter to Battle, is filed with a letter of December 8 from Battle to Bergus. (Department of State, NEA Files: Lot 71 D 79, 1967–1968) For Bergus’ delivery of the substance of Anderson’s contingency instructions, see footnote 6, Document 521.